The NBA’s worst-kept secret will finally be revealed publicly tomorrow, as according to a number of reporters, the Chicago Bulls will name Fred Hoiberg their head coach. Adrian Wojnarowski has been reporting for at least a month that the Bulls intended on replacing Tom Thibodeau with Hoiberg. The only question was how, not if.
Hoiberg is one of the most highly-regarded people in all of basketball, and it is nearly impossible to find somebody that has a bad word to say about him. He played in the NBA for 10 seasons as a backup shooting guard, including four in Chicago. After retiring he joined the Timberwolves front office, eventually rising to vice president of basketball operations, before leaving in 2010 to coach his alma mater, Iowa State. In Ames he led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA tournaments, a program first.
The Bulls seem to be swinging wildly from one coaching archetype to another, dumping the league’s most intense coach for someone frequently described as a “player’s coach.” But that label does Hoiberg a disservice, as he implemented an innovative pro-style offense instead of the 30 seconds of dribble-handoffs most teams run. If Hoiberg can maintain the defensive identity Chicago is known for (though they slipped to 11th this season) while improving the offense—admittedly a big if for a rookie NBA coach—Chicago can contend for an NBA championship.
As for Thibodeau? If he doesn’t find a head coaching gig, he’ll spend his time engaging in his favorite activity on earth: